When I get Action Bronson on the phone, he's headed to Stockholm. Of course Action Bronson is headed to Stockholm. Of course he's giving a talk about the evolution of food there. Of course he's going to explain to a crowd—presumably of stuffy European foodies, not that it matters—how food has "transformed from being looked at as just fuel and just getting into your fucking mouth" into "theater, where it's the main component of your night." This is what Action Bronson does.
After that, he's going to Paris. He's playing a music festival. He might shoot an episode of his TV show, F*ck, That's Delicious, while he's there. Of course he will. And that's not even what this phone call is about; it's just stuff Action Bronson is doing. This phone call is about new music. Specifically, it's about Blue Chips 7000, his new album coming this summer.
"It's easy to just be like 'yo, I've been busy,'" Action muses. It's been two years since his last project, Mr. Wonderful, and in that time his star has risen dramatically through his work in TV and food. But being busy isn't the whole story when creative masterpieces are at stake. "It's just sometimes these things take time," he adds. "This is my tenth project, you feel me? So I get a little bit of time to work on it. I've earned that."
Blue Chips 7000 completes the trilogy that began with Action's acclaimed 2012 mixtape Blue Chips. That album, a collaboration with the producer Party Supplies, vaulted the New York rapper to a new level of his career, putting him at the vanguard of the city's eclectic-minded rap revival. A second installment followed the next year, and now, skipping past 6,997 other installments, Action is ready to share the "final motherfucking piece," dubbed "7000" because "I'm fucking several thousand light years from here. I'm on a different plane right now. That was the right representation of where I'm at in my life."
This time, Party Supplies is still involved, but the project also includes collaborations with a whole range of producers, in particular longtime collaborator Harry Fraud. "It's like the most lavish fucking neighborhood barbecue that you've ever been to," Bronson says. "It's the illest, it's the chillest fucking ill vibe. It's fucking smoke music, dance music—whatever you want to fucking do. You do whatever to this shit. It's one of those pieces that's forever."
To kick things off, Action is sharing his riff on a radio single, "Let Me Breathe," produced by Harry Fraud. The beat sounds like a whimsical action movie set in space, and in the rapper's hands it becomes an Action movie definitely set in some higher plane. "I'm flying past Saturn," Action raps, before going on to explain that it's his routine to "ride around Queens on a jet ski, it's me." Trees are smoked in a white Range Rover, and beaches are laid upon. After the first verse, Action shouts, "If I could just make a dance that goes with this song then I'ma be onnnnnnnn / basic bitches gonna dance to it, basic bitches everywhere gonna dance to it!" As mentioned, this is his response to the constant pressure to make a radio single, and it's as absurd as promised.
"It's a little bit tongue in cheek, but at the end of the day it's still that fire because it's still that fire, if you understand what I mean," Action says. "There's always like a comedic thing to it. I don't take myself too seriously. I don't take anything too seriously. Life is fucking too gorgeous and too diverse to be too fucking caught up in the bullshit. So this joint'll have people fucking shaking their fucking asses, breaking their fucking head, crashing their car into Boston Market. Straight up running into Chinese food restaurants, naked going crazy."
The song premiered today as Zane Lowe's World Record on Beats 1, and you can stream it below. Action is also sharing the cover art for Blue Chips 7000, which lives up to the futuristic premise. Rap should be larger than life, and Action Bronson is one of the rappers who understands that best. That's why you want to tune into his TV shows and follow his life and listen to his music. They're all part of the lavish whole.
"I always want to be a little TV ho, but the music is what got me around," Action says. "The music is in my fucking veins. I mean everything is in my fucking veins, it's all artistic, man. It can never stop. I'm always doing something, man. My brain is like, this shit is fucking 24 hours a day."
(Full disclosure, Action is signed to VICE Records and that his TV shows are on VICELAND, both of which are part of Noisey's parent company, VICE. Even fuller disclosure: Who cares, Action Bronson is awesome).
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